Salsa > Back brace for posture?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Josh, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    I will avoid naming any specific products here in an attempt to adhere to the DF guidelines regarding commercial products, but I would hope it wouldn't matter too much anyway since I'm not endorsing anything, but rather soliciting comments.

    My posture has always been quite bad, and only in the last few years have I even tried to improve it. I have a couple of gadgets from a chiro that attempt to "bend" the neck back into proper alignment, as well as the lower back, and these work quite well when I have time and the will to use them. But I'd like to try something new for a change--

    There's a certain freaky *cough* salsera out there who, through her web site, sells a (unisex) back brace for posture. I would hope I wouldn't wear it ALL the time, just enough to get the proper muscles working so as to help me stand up straighter. Has anyone actually tried this or something similar to it? If so, what have the results been? Any tips or exercises in general for improving posture?
  2. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I ocassionally put a giant X across my students back with surgical tape, starting over the shoulders and going halfway down.

    This way if their shoulders raise or they slouch, the tape starts to pull and they immediatley are reminded to correct their mistakes.

    ps, You can metion commerial sites and products. We simply ask for no live links to the website.
  3. BrookeErin

    BrookeErin New Member

    I'm no help... my mom was insistent on good posture and would walk up behind us and straighten our backs if we were not sitting/standing with good posture. Apparently it worked since I've been asked if I had ballroom training (nope... in fact, I learned salsa at the clubs not in class). One of our DJs even made fun of me saying he figured I'd be stiff and boring since I sat so "properly"... and then he saw me dance....

    However, I want to definitely encourage you in your pursuit of proper posture. It will help your dancing, your body, and your appearance to others (you'll look more confident). Besides that salsera you mentioned had a pretty good testimony....
  4. diputs

    diputs New Member

    Personally, I would find a different chiropractor if he attempted to give me those devises. Luckily my chiro believes in strengthening the correct muscles needed to maintain good posture.

    A lot of posture problems (excluding structure problems)stem from weak muscles on one side and over developed muscles on the other. If you rework the muscles you can improve your posture.

    Also look into myofascial release using a foam roller.

    In general, I am not into braces of any kind. They only provide temporary results and do not ever actually solve the problem.
  5. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Some of my posture problems are due to structural problems--many peoples' are in fact, if they have had them for a significant period of time or have had them during childhood years (both in my case). Especially forward head posture (FHP), is not just a case of muscles needing correction--that is a structural issue, which these devices are intended to help with.

    I don't actually go to a chiro anymore, since I don't have the time/money to do so--haven't been in years, though I need to from time to time I'm sure!

    Don't get me wrong--I'm no hunchback of ND, I just want my posture to improve... :D

    Can you provide some facts to support this? Have you used braces with no/little success, or is this just a general feeling you have?
  6. diputs

    diputs New Member

    I just make this stuff up as I go along. :)

    I just did a quick google search. I will look for more later.

    Here is another report specific to knee braces. This one has a lot more information than the first.

    Unfortunately this will be one of those topics where evidence can be found supporting both sides of the issue. So you will need to come to your own conclusions.
  7. diputs

    diputs New Member

    I started to look up information on structural scoliosis. I am assuming that this is what you are refering to.

    I could not find any information on this which is why I am posing the question. If the posture problem is structural, what are the braces going to do for you. Won't the brace cause a problem by forcing the spine into a position that it's structure does not allow. If it was a muscular issue, the brace would help hold the spine in the proper position.

    Info on forward head posture

    Have you tried something like the Alexander Technique?
  8. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member

    I haven't tried it, but I have seen something similar marketed to seamstresses as a way to remind you to sit straight at the sewing machine and not hunch the shoulders. I would assume it is more of an awareness thing. Make you uncomfortable in bad posture so that you will train yourself to good posture.
  9. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I tried this thing at one of Edie's workshops, but I found it too uncomfortable to keep it on for more than a couple of minutes. Your mileage may vary, of course....

    I'm thinking about Alexander Technique since I have potentially-posture-related health issues and a few people have recommended it to me. I haven't tried it yet so can't comment.

    Other recommendations I got include Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi (again, I haven't tried these yet).
  10. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    This is called Somatics and I have a great book on this!
  11. diputs

    diputs New Member

    I had not heard of somatics, but this does seem to be one version of this.
  12. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Thanks for all the links and info so far -- I'll check some of this stuff out.
  13. dTas

    dTas New Member

    replace your computer chair with a reflex ball, use a reflex ball, instead of the couch, when you're watching TV (assuming you watch TV).

    do yoga, pilates, or tai chi (like MacMoto suggested)

    concentrate on strengthening your abs and back muscles at the gym or at home.

    as much as possible sit with your head against the headrest and you butt all the way in the seat when driving. try to keep your whole back in the seat, no gaps.


    simply hold your face up! don't let it your nose drop past horizontal.

    all of these strengthen your spine and core and help improve your posture.
  14. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Thanks dTas--besides sitting on a ball at work (no TV at hom), and swimming, I'm doing most of this already.

    I work on back and abs quite a bit at the gym, but I think you're right that most of it is being aware that there is a posture problem and consciously correcting that. I have a strong back and a six-pack (well at least I did before this past weekend partying so much :wink:), so the problem isn't that I don't have muscles, it's that my muscles don't engage and force me to stand up straight unless I think about it.

    That's why I thought a back brace might work, since it would be a constant reminder for a few days or weeks that I need to engage those muscles. Thanks for the tips!
  15. diputs

    diputs New Member

    Are your back muscles and your abs balanced? Or is one stronger than the other? It could also be a lack of flexibility to one side or the other. How tight are your IT bands? They could be pulling you out of proper alignment?

    To use myself as an example. My legs and IT's are tight. And despite the fact that I have decent abs, they have not been worked properly. Hence I have a sway (larger than normal) in my lower back. I also have rotator cuff problems as well as overly tight shoulders which is a big cause for my fhp. It has been slow (primarily because I do not do what I should be doing) but I am working to rebalance my body.

    Of course, none of these things might apply to you.
  16. Gussie

    Gussie New Member

    I would personally advise against using any kind of brace as a long term measure unless instructed by a medical practitioner.

    You would be best served seeing an osteopath, chiro or an ishta spinal touch therapist and they can examine your alignment and check all is ok and perform any corrections if any are found. A good osteo should also be able to provide you with a range of exercises to strengthen weak muscles and promote self healing.

    If you want long term self help then yoga is brilliant cause it will in time teach you more appropriate alignment and raise your postural awareness. As diputsnyc says Alexander Technique is also brilliant. A few sessions of each and you should see postural benefits.

    Also bear in mind if one muscle is weakened or damaged in any way the surrounding muscles will tense to compensate so be very wary of the amount of compensation you are putting in there. If you do this long term this can lead to more serious problems, the sooner you nip it in the bud the better.
  17. funseeker321

    funseeker321 New Member

    rolfing is an alternative therapy you might want to wonders!
  18. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Sounds interesting. There are so many of these various techniques out there. It would be great if I could find a site/person that knows about them and can also differentiate them so a lay person like me could decide which one would suit me.
  19. Gussie

    Gussie New Member

    Lots of practitioners there who could offer advice. If you want to know more about the techniques I can explain them. :)

    Never tried rolfing myself though..
  20. dTas

    dTas New Member

    rolfing = OUCH!

    been there, done that... did i say OUCH!

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